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To the right is Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani (d. 1977CE), of Palestinian origin, the founder of the group, "Hizb ut-Tahrir". It's not an image that is readily presented by today's followers of this man's political philosophy. He was an Ash'ari in aqidah (mixed with some of usool of the Mu'tazilah, Murji'ah and Qadariyyah) and he also came from a Sufi family. Evidence suggests that an-Nabahani had a background in Ba'thist Communism and Arab Socialism. He also had connections with the "Arab Nationalist Movement" (كتلة القوميين العرب), which was a Socialist movement aimed at liberating Palestine.
The 20th century saw many figureheads affected by the practical elements of non-Islamic political ideas and philosophies. In particular, the Marxist-Communist ideological and political revolution for the imposition of a system embodying "social justice" from 'top-down'. Hasan al-Banna desired to gather all Muslims into a single mass with view to establishing the khilaafah, through a mass awakening and arising; Abu A'la Mawdudi saw political revolutions as the way to establish the imaamah (leadership), with the "Islamic Party" being the route to that end; Sayyid Qutb desired to effect a Leninist-style revolution through an "elite vanguard" that would be nurtured upon his version of aqidah (everyone on the planet is a kaafir except for me and whoever is with me); and an-Nabahani modified some ideas of Mawdudi and incorporated the practical elements of Ba'thist Communist party politics into his political philosophy of the disciplined, organized hizb (party) that would effect change through political, revolutionary means.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is very popular in former Communist bloc countries and where there has historically been strong sentiments against Capitalism and the West.
The Aqidah of Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani
As we have indicated, an-Nabahani is upon the usool (foundations) of the Qadariyyah, Murji'ah, Mu'tazilah and Ash'ariyyah - he has simply drawn his aqidah from the deviant sects that arose in the first and second (and later) centuries and against which the Imaams of Ahl us-Sunnah showed severe rejection. You can refer to the following series of articles that address this subject in detail from his books, and indicate his intellectual confusion, incoherence and contradiction:
As the Scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah have indicated, a corrupt aqidah leads to a corrupt methodology and a corrupt methodology is indicative of a corrupt aqidah. And similarly, a corrupt methodology can also lead to corruption matters of aqidah. And with this aqidah found in the books of an-Nabahani, it is not surprising to find him using what are essentially the practical elements of the political philosophies of the non-Muslims in his desire to establish an Islamic state.
In light of the above, it is dismaying to see people being indoctrinated to believe that an-Nabahani was an "aalim" (scholar) and "mujtahid mutlaq" (jurist), this is part of the propaganda made by party-members to new initiates, to impress upon them about the stature of an-Nabahani. Yes, he was an aalim of the aqidah of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Qadariyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Murji'ah - but not an aalim of the aqidah of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah.
An-Nabahani, Ba'thism and Military Coups
In the Encyclopedia of Islamic Movements in the Arabic Nation, Turkey and Iran, of Dr. Ahmad al-Mawsili, there occurs under an-Nabhani's entry (p. 407):
تبنى لفترة من الوقت عقيدة حزب البعث
For a period of time, he adopted the aqidah of Hizb ul-Ba'th (the Ba'th Party).
Abdullaah at-Tall was an Arab Nationalist and Ba'thist, and he writes in his memoirs, referring to his sending of an-Nabahani to Damascus as part of a plan for a military coup, which eventually failed, and this is documented by him in his memoirs (كارثة فلسطين), "Catastrophe of Palestine" (1/591):
فاخترت شخصين كانا موضع ثقتي، وتربطهما صداقة متينة وهما: السيد عبد الله الريماوي، والشيخ (تقي الدين النبهاني). وحمّلتهما جواز سفري السياسي ليقدماه للزعيم حسني الزعيم، كإشارة متفق عليها بيننا، وتحرك الرسولان إلى دمشق في 7/5/1949، بحجة شراء ورق لجريدة البعث
I chose two individuals in whom I placed my trust, and who were tied together with very strong friendship, and they are as-Sayyid Abdullaah ar-Rimaawee and the Shaykh, Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani. I tasked them with taking my political passport so that they can present it to the leader, Husni az-Za'eem, as an agreed upon gesture between us. And so these two messengers went to Damascus on 7/5/1949 with the reason (excuse) of purchasing paper for [publication of] the Ba'th Magazine.
Az-Za'eem was executed in August 1949 after the failed military coup in Syria (after having already launched a successful bloodless coup earlier in the year in March). This gives an interesting insight into the colorful background of individuals like an-Nabahani and shows their background ideological nurturing upon secular revolutionary ideologies, such as Ba'thism (Socialism for the Arabs) which - without any shadow of doubt - strongly influenced their own political philosophies that were clothed with the garb of Islaam.
In the book, (الشيخ تقي الدين النبهاني داعية الخلافة الإسلامية), 'Shaykh Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani, the Caller of the Islamic Caliphate', Hisham Ulaywan (2009), also documents the same, saying:
وبعد نجاح الانقلاب العسكري في سوريا بقيادة حسني الزعيم (1897-1949) يوم 30 آذار/مارس 1949، بُحثت مسألة إسقاط النظام الأردني بانقلاب عسكري مماثل، بين عبد الله التل وعبد الله الريماوي وتقي الدين النبهاني. وتوجّه الريماوي والنبهاني إلى دمشق برسالة من التل إلى الزعيم، وذلك قبل أن يفرّ التل لاجئاً سياسياً إلى مصر في العاشر من تشرين الأول/أكتوبر
After the success of the military coup in Syria under the leadership of Husni az-Za'eem (1897-1949), on 30th March 1949, the issue of removing the Jordanian system (of government) through a similar military coup was discussed between Abdullah at-Tall, Abdullaah ar-Rimaawee and Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani. And ar-Rimaawee and an-Nabahani turned to Damascus with a message from at-Tall to az-Za'eem, and this was before Abdullaah at-Tall fled, seeking political asylum in Egypt in October 1949.
Ulaywan also states that it is not possible to reject the plausibility that an-Nabahani was involved with some of the nationalistic parties, he states:
لا يمكن رفض احتمال أن يكون النبهاني قد نشط سراً في إحدى المجموعات القومية الصغيرة
... it is not possible to reject the plausiblity that an-Nabahani was raised (i.e. cultivated) secretly in one of the small nationalistic groups...
And he cites as evidence for this, an-Nabahani's involvement with the likes of at-Tall and ar-Rimaawee and also his participation with the Arab Nationalist Movement in their gatherings in Haifa in 1947. The author of "Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islamee wat-Tadleel as-Siyaasee" cites the following (p. 9) from Dr. Abdul-Azeez al-Khayyaat (former Jordanian government minister, now in his late 80s, originally from Palestine and graduated from al-Azhar, similar to an-Nabahani - see him here):
وقد أكد نزعة الشيخ (تقي الدين النبهاني) القومية، رفيق دربه، وزير الأوقاف الأردني السابق، الدكتور عبد العزيز الخياط حيث قال عنه: <<وكان حديثه ضبابياً، إذ كان يدعو إلى العروبة أكثر من دعوته إلى الإسلام>>. وبعدها بقليل، أشار الخياط إلى قيام النبهاني بكتابة رسالة بعنوان: <<رسالة العرب>>. ثم قال بخصوص فكرته لتشكيل جماعة إسلامية واحدة: <<كان همّي ـ أي الخياط ـ العمل على توحيد الفكرتين: عند النبهاني (القومية)، ولدى الإخوان المسلمين (الإسلامية)>>اهـ
The Jordanian Minister of 'Awqaaf, Dr. Abdul-Aziz al-Khayyaat stated about an-Nabahani, "His speech used to be very hazy, since he used to call to Arabism more than his call to Islaam", and after mentioning the book written by an-Nabahani "Risaalat ul-'Arab" he (al-Khayyaat) stated about his own designs to formulate an Islamic party, "My interest was to work to unite the two ideas, the (one) with an-Nabahani (nationalistic) and the (one) with al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen (Islamic)."
And he indicates the source for this as:
مجلة الوسط، العدد (180) بتاريخ 10/7/1995م، ص33.
Which is the magazine, "al-Wasat", no. 180, dated 10/7/1995, p. 33.
Hizb ul-Ba'th (The Ba'th Party) and Hizb ut-Tahrir
Michel Aflaq (d. 1989) is the Greek Orthodox Christian who founded Ba'thism and the Ba'th Party (in Syria), an ideology of Socialist (Communist), Arab Nationalism. He was a contemporary of an-Nabahani.
In the book, (الشيخ تقي الدين النبهاني داعية الخلافة الإسلامية), 'Shaykh Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani, the Caller of the Islamic Caliphate', Hisham Ulaywan (2009) notes, under the heading of "an-Nabahani and Aflaq" in which he looks at the resemblance between ideas of the two:
بل إنّ النبهاني الذي انتقد طريقة عمل الإخوان (التكتل الجمعي)، اعتمد طريقة التكتل الحزبي، وشابَهَ في بناء حزب التحرير تجربة العمل السري المعقّد للتنظيمات القومية
Rather, an-Nabahani who criticized the way of action of al-Ikhwan [al-Muslimoon] of the formation of (all people) into a mass, he (himself) depended upon the (route of) party-formation and in setting up Hizb ut-Tahrir he resembled (i.e. borrowed) from the secret practical experience intertwined with the (Arab) nationalistic organizations.
He then mentions an-Nabahani's attendance at the Arab Nationalist Party's meeting in Haifa in 1947, and also many nationalistic and secret organizations that were present in the region, he then says:
وبالإضافة إلى التشابه التنظيمي بين حزب التحرير والأحزاب القومية، يمكن ملاحظة أوجه شبه في المضمون والمصطلح، بين خطاب ميشال عفلق مؤسس حزب البعث نفسه وخطاب النبهاني لا سيما قبل تأسيسه حزب التحرير
And in addition to the structural (organizational) resemblance between Hizb ut-Tahrir and the (Arab) nationalistic parties, it is possible to note the aspects of resemblance in content and terminology between the discourse of Michel Aflaq, the founder of al-Ba'th himself, and the discourse of an-Nabahani, especially (in the period) before his founding of Hizb ut-Tahrir...
And then Ulaywan mentions some similarities between the discourses of the two ideologues, quoting from their statements. As we stated earlier, the circumstances and environment in which an-Nabahani was present and the circles within which he mixed and his very strong ties to certain Ba'thists and (Arab) nationalists, makes it impossible to deny that he was influenced by that background cultivation in the formation of his party, its structure, its goals and mode of operation.
Let us look at the structure of Hizb ul-Ba'th, this is an outline of the Iraqi Ba'th party (as documented in "A Country Study: Iraq", US Library of Congress, 1988), the Syrian and Iraqi Ba'th parties had similar structures:
A National Command is the highest authority and makes all the decisions. It oversees the Regional Congress which would operate on a national level, except that the party did not acknowledge nation-states, and thus they treated them as areas. The Regional Congress oversees Branches, which in turn oversee Sections, which would function at the level of a city, or town. There would be 2-5 Divisions per Section. The Division itself has between 2-7 Cells, that are controlled by a commander. The lowest level, which is the Cell or Circle is composed of 3-7 members and is the basic organizational unit of the party. At this level there are two types of cells: Member cells and Supporter cells. Supporter cells are initiates who are introduced to the party. These cells function at the level of say, a workplace, or a small village, or a small local area.
The following quotes are from this page that outlines the structure of the Ba'th party:
At the lowest level, [Ba'ath Party] study circles (halaqa) and cells (kheliya) hold weekly meetings with a dozen or so activists from the same neighborhood or sector. They talk about current events, or the party version of them, in line with the inclinations of the regime...
The basic organizational unit of the Ba'ath was the party cell or circle (halaqah). Composed of between three and seven members, cells functioned at the neighborhood of the village level, where members met to discuss and to carry out party directives. A minimum of two and a maximum of seven cells formed a party division (firqah). Divisions operated in urban quarters, larger villages, offices, factories, schools, and other organizations. Division units were spread throughout the bureaucracy and the military, where they functioned as the ears and eyes of the party. Two to five divisions formed a section (shabah). A section operated at the level of a large city quarter, a town, or a rural district. Above the section was the branch (fira), which was composed of at least two sections and which operated at the provincial level...
Then as for Hizb ut-Tahrir, it is along the following lines:
A Central Leader (amir) forms the leadership and he oversees the Provincial Committee (mu'tamad) which consist of 5-10 members. This committe oversees Local Committees which have 4 members. The local committees oversee cell units, which are the Study Circles (halaqah), controlled by a mushrif (co-ordinator, instructor). The circle has 5-10 members. Initiates are brought in at the cell level and are distinguished from members in that they do not have the same privilege as the members. After a period of screening, if they show potential and interest, they are encouraged to become members and engage in a detailed study of the party's ideology (from its books).
In the ICG Asia Report, "Radical Islam in Asia", (no. 58, 2003) on Hizb ut-Tahrir, the authors write the following observations:
Like many Arab political parties that emerged after the 1930s, Hizb ut-Tahrir took on characteristics of a modern political party, with a program and structures. Many of these parties found inspiration in early Leninist ideas, echoing the concept of the party as a revolutionary vanguard. Most took on an ideology of nationalism or socialism, or both. Taqiuddin an-Nabhani 'was ...one of the first Arab intellectuals to argue the case for a modern political party using the constructs of Islamic discourse.' Nevertheless, Hizb ut-Tahrir had much more in common in terms of political structure with secular parties such as the Ba'athists, later to become a ruling party in Iraq and Syria, than it did with the major Islamic political movement, the Muslim brotherhood.
A Brief Overview of the Work and Activity of Hizb ut-Tahrir
As we have established already, an-Nabahani had very tight connections with prominent Ba'thists. He was influenced by Ba'thism and Communism in the practical elements of his political ideology - not unlike aspects of Marxism and Leninism crept into the political ideology of Sayyid Qutb (the establishment of the Islamic state through the activities of an elite vanguard that mobilizes the masses to replace the current status-quo) - and so he moulded these ideas together, adapted some of Mawdudi's ideas, and decided that a political party, structured and organized with the same rigour and discipline as that of the Ba'thists and Communists would be the route to re-establish the khilaafah through an ideological and political revolution.
In the book "Hizb ut-Tahrir" (p. 5, 1985) there occurs:
حزب سياسي مبدؤه الإسلام، فالسياسة عمله، والإسلام مبدؤه، وهو يعمل بين الأمة ومعها لتتخذ الإسلام قضية لها، وليقودها لإعادة الخلافة بما أنزل الله إلى الوجود.وحزب التحرير هو تكتل سياسي، وليس تكتلاً روحياً، ولا تكتلاً علمياً، ولا تكتلاً تعليمياً، ولا تكتلاً خيرياً، والفكرة الإسلامية هي الروح لجسمه، وهي نواته وسر حياته
A political party, whose foundation is Islam. So politics is its activity, and Islam is its foundation, and it works between the Ummah and alongside it, so that it takes Islam as an issue (of concern) for itself, and that it leads it for (purpose) of returning the khilaafah upon what Allaah revealed to the creation. And Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political formation (i.e. a bloc, party), not a party of goodness (i.e. one that sets out to propagate good deeds in the society). The Islamic ideology is the spirit of its body, its core, and is the secret of its life.
And in the English section of their website, it is stated:
So all the work of the Party (i.e. Hizb ut-Tahrir) is political, whether it is in [government] office or not. Its work is not educational, as it is not a school, nor is it concerned with giving sermons and preaching...
It is apparent that the methodology of the party is purely political and it does not focus in reality on teaching Muslims the foundations of their belief and encouraging them upon purification of the soul and individual rectification in one's beliefs and worship, and striving to make worship for Allaah alone, and rescuing them from setting up rivals and partners for Allaah in worship - which was the very specific purpose and goal of all of the Messengers (alayhim us-salaam).
Initiates are cultivated upon the idea that the Islamic Khilaafah was ended in 1924CE (see here), that all Muslim lands have thus become lands of kufr, against which a revolution is necessary (obligatory), that this revolution begins ideologically by mobilizing the society. And as working to re-establish the khilaafah is the greatest obligation (today) that one is sinful for not engaging in such work (therefore, initiates are convinced to work with this group or within the framework of Nabahani's teachings) with the claim that it is obligatory to work with them, as there is no other alternative group performing this obligation. Within this framework, political work (meaning their specific methodology) is presented as integral to Islaam, but what is meant by politics is not the true and real Sharee'ah politics (which is the domain of the rulers and the scholars within an existing Islamic state), but an innovated form of politics that takes place in the absence of an Islamic state, through ways and means that have no basis in the Shari'ah but are derived fundamentally from sources alien to Islaam. The group relies upon a distorted representation of the Prophetic Seerah which is portrayed in purely political terms, completely divorced from its core message (of Tawhid al-Uluhiyyah).
This minimalist aqidah, along with a minimalist "Islamic personality" is required to operate within the group as there has to be some basic element of Islam present to lend credibility to the party. The minimalist aqidah that is taught within the party is nothing more than the party's political ideology coupled with the glorification of the intellect as the ultimate source of definitive knowledge, along with the medley that is made up of the aqidah of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Ash'ariyyah, Murji'ah and Qadariyyah found in the works of an-Nabahani.
Hizb ut-Tahrir have a three-stage methodology which can be broadly summarized as follows:
The political thought of an-Nabahani and Hizb ut-Tahrir is simply an extension of the Ba'thist, Communist, notion of change, which is the imposition of a system from 'top-down', through purely political means. More specifically, a physical revolution preceded by an ideological one. 20th century activists simply differed on the details - so al-Bannaa took to gathering everyone into a mass, Qutb took to the "elite vanguard" that would perform the overthrow, Mawdudi took to the political party, and an-Nabahani simply adapted the ideas of Mawdudi and with his involvement with Ba'thists and Socialists, he incorporated their rigid party structure.
All of them aimed to change the political structure, believing that by changing it, they could return strength to Islam and this is ignorance and a gross error, since honour, victory, strength and the likes originate in the hearts, not from political structures - and this is a divine rule that is found in the Book, the Sunnah and the understanding of the Companions and those upon their way, and the Qur'an and the Sunnah are replete with elucidation of this principle. Refer to the following:
An-Nabahani: Khuluq and Akhlaaq (Moral Qualities, Characteristics) Play No Role in the Formation of a Society
It is important to remember that an-Nabahani is a Qadariyy Innovator who expels mans wilfully chosen actions (al-af'aal al-ikhtiyaariyyah) outside of his defintion of "al-qadaa wal-qadar", and this corruption in aqidah comes through in his political philosophy.
An-Nabahani, writes in "Nidhaam al-Islaam" (The System of Islaam) on page 130 (6th edition, 2001):
And akhlaaq (moral qualities, characteristics) do not affect the establishment of the society in any way because the society stands upon the (regulatory) systems of life, and perceptions and ideas are what affect it. As for khuluq (moral qualities), then they do not affect the establishment of the society, and nor its rise or decline. Indeed, that which affects is the general custom which arises from the (proper) understandings about life. That which controls (and directs) the society is not the moral qualities, but it is the regulatory systems (of law) which are implemented upon it, and the ideas and perceptions which the people carry. The moral character (khuluq) itself is produced from ideas and perceptions, and is the result of the implementation of the system (of law).
The Qur'an and Sunnah are replete with refutations of this misguidance. And from the texts are the following verses:
إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ
Verily! Allaah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah). (Ra'd 13:11)
This indicates the condition of the society is based upon the actions of individuals, and it is the collection of individual actions inclusive of moral qualities and characteristics that determine the society, its nature and decline, all within the scope of Allaah's power (qudrah), wisdom (hikmah) and justice ('adl).
هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوامِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger from among themselves, reciting to them His Verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism), and teaching them the Book (this Qur'an) and al-Hikmah (the Sunnah). And verily, they had been before in manifest error. (Al-Jumu'ah 62:2)
In this verse put the purification of the believers before the teaching of the Book and the Wisdom, and this occurs in other verses too:
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلالٍ مُّبِينٍ
Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur'an), and purifying them, and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur'an) and al-ýHikmah (the Sunnah), while before that they had been in manifest error. (Aali Imran 3:164)
كَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنكُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ
Similarly (to complete My Blessings on you) We have sent among you a Messenger (Muhammad) of your own, reciting to you Our Verses (the Qur'an) and sanctifying (purifying) you, and teaching you the Book (the Qur'an) and the Hikmah (i.e. Sunnah), and teaching you that which you used not to know. (Al-Baqarah 2:151)
Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) comments upon this verse in Surah al-Baqarah:
ويزكيهم: أي يطهرهم من الرذائل وينهاهم عن المنكر لتزكوا نفوسهم وتطهر من الدنس والخبث في حال شركهم وجاهليتهم، ويعلمهم الكتاب والحكمة: يعني القرآن والسنة
..."purifying them", meaning, purifying them from the radhaa'il (vices, impurities, blemishes), and prohibits them from evil so that their souls are sanctified and are purified of the dirt and filth in the condition of their shirk and their jaahiliyyah. "And teaching them the Book and the Wisdom", meaning, the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.
Thus, the Qur'an mentions tazkiyah of the soul and removal of vile qualities, vices, blemishes in the form of Shirk, and the characteristics and qualities of Jaahiliyyah. After this, they were instructed in the Book and the Wisdom which are the laws and regulations. And this is how that first and greatest society was built.
And then in the hadeeth of Hudhayfah bin al-Yamaan as occurs in al-Bukhari and Muslim:
حدثنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم حديثين قد رأيت أحدهما وأنا انتظر الآخر حدثنا أن الأمانة نزلت في جذر قلوب الرجال ثم نزل القرآن فعلموا من القرآن وعلموا من السنة ثم حدثنا عن رفع الأمانة فقال ينام الرجل النومة فتقبض الأمانة من قلبه
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) foretold to us two ahaadeeth. I have seen one (being fulfilled), and I am waiting for the other. He told us that the amaanah (quality of trustworthiness and fulfilling trusts) descended in the innermost (root) of the hearts of men. Then the Qur'an was revealed and they learnt from the Quran and they learned from the Sunnah. Then he told us about the removal of amaanah. He said, "The man would have some sleep, and Amanah would be taken away from his heart..."
So here trustworthiness (amaanah) was found in the hearts of the people first and upon this quality did they acquire the Qur'an and the Sunnah (i.e. the religion with all its beliefs, deeds and injunctions). And having "amaanah" (trustworthiness) was a requisite for that great society of the Companions to be produced.
The revelation came to perfect and complete the noble qualities and characteristics, as the Prophet (alayhis salaam) said, as is reported by al-Bayhaqi and al-Haakim and al-Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, from Abu Hurairah:
إنما بعثت لأتمم مكارم الأخلاق
Indeed I was sent in order that I make complete (make perfect) the noble manners.
So the Sharee'ah draws out, perfects and completes the best of manners, which are already latent in people, and this indicates that lofty, noble manners and purity in character precede the formation of a sound society - meaning, a true, righteous Islamic society, which readily accepts a system of law and regulation which then adds completion and perfection to it.
Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) comments on the verse in Surah al-Qalam that states, "Indeed you (O Muhammad) are upon an exalted state of character" (68:4), after mentionin that the Prophet (alayhis salaam's) character was that of the Qur'an:
هذا مع ما جبله الله عليه من الخلق العظيم من الحياء والكرم والشجاعة والصفح والحلم وكل خلق جميل
...This is alongside the great (exalted) standard of character, of modesty, generosity, courage, pardoning, forbearance and every [other] (aspect of) beautiful character that Allaah made him naturally disposed to.
And the refutation of this claim of an-Nabahani is detailed, but these are just some texts to show that indeed it is not the application of a system of law from 'top-down' and its associated perceptions and ideas that form and establish a society with the khuluq and akhlaaq being a mere consequence, rather the khuluq and akhlaaq are what a sound society is built upon.
The Methodology of the Prophets In Making Da'wah to Allaah
The Prophets (alayhim us-salaam) did not come to bring about the downfall of one state and to replace it with another. They did not seek after sovereignty, nor did they organise parties for that. Rather they came for the guidance of mankind and to save them from misguidance and shirk (associating partners with Allaah in worship), and to take mankind out of darkness and into light and to remind them of the days when Allaah has sent favours upon them.
The starting point is calling for the correction of 'aqidah (belief and creed) - by ordering that all worship is made for Allaah, and shirk is forbidden. Then ordering the establishment of the Prayer, and the payment of the Zakah, and that the obligatory duties are carried out and that forbidden things are avoided. This was the procedure followed by all of the Messengers.
Allaah the Most High said:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الطَّاغُوتَ
We sent a Messenger to every nation, ordering them that they should worship Allaah alone, obey Him and make their worship purely for Him, and that they should avoid everything worshipped besides Allaah...(An-Nahl 16:36)
And He said:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ
We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) except that We revealed to Him that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah - so make all of your worship purely for Allaah alone. (Al-Anbiya 21:25)
The best example of giving da'wah is to be found in the method of the Prophet (alayhis salaam) - it is the most perfect and complete methodology - in that he (alayhis salaam) remained in Makkah for thirteen years, calling the people to tawheed and forbidding them from shirk, before (he ordered) them with Prayer, Zakaat, Fasting and Hajj, and before he (alayhis salaam) forbade them from usury, fornication, theft and murder.
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) sent Mu'aadh to Yemen as a Governor, a judge and a teacher. Allaah's Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said to him, as is narrated by both al-Bukhari and Muslim:
You are a going to a people from the People of the Book, so let the first thing you call them to be the testification that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, (and in a narration: that they should single Allaah out with all worship), and I am the Messenger of Allaah. So if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allaah has made five Prayers obligatory upon them in each day and night. So if they obey you in that, then inform them that Allaah has obligated upon them a charity which is to be taken from their rich and given to their poor. If they obey you in that, then beware of taking the best parts of their wealth, and beware of the supplication of the oppressed, because there is no screen between it and Allaah.
Whilst this is only one example, there are many other examples where the Scholars amongst the Companions were sent to invite the people to Tawhid, worshipping Allaah alone, and this is besides the fact that all of the Prophets and Messengers mentioned in the Qur'an, that their call was to the worship of Allaah alone, and this was the basis of their rectification of their people.
Since Allaah, the Most High has promised the granting of authority upon the earth only with the establishment of Tawhid and the abolition of Shirk, these people are attempting that which is impossible, and their vain, fruitless efforts over the last 60-70 years is the greatest of proof for that.
Allaah the Most High said:
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُم فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّن بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
Allaah has promised those who truly believe (have true eemaan) amongst you, and work righteous deeds (in obedience to Allaah and His Messenger), that He will grant them rulership upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them, and that He will establish their religion for them, grant them authority to practise the religion which He chose for them and ordered. And He will certainly change their situation to one of security, after their fear, providing that they worship and obey Me, not associating anything else in worship with Me. Then whoever rejects this favour by disobedience to their Lord, then they are the rebellious transgressors. (An-Nur 24:55)
The above verse establishes that on the condition that the Muslims:
So when the Muslims are characterized by these four qualities, it is Allaah Himself that will:
From the above it is clear that establishment and application of the Shari'ah and the prescribed punishments and the establishment of the Islamic state are all from the rights of Tawheed. They are all matters which perfect Tawheed and follow on from it, and it is Allaah Himself, who grants authority, establishes the religion, and replaces fear with security. It is only upon that foundation of Tawhid that the rest of the Sharee'ah will be established.
There are two problems here:
The first is that the likes of an-Nabahani restrict Tawhid to the Tawhid of Ruboobiyyah (affirming Allaah's lordship over the universe) and affirming some of His Attributes - and they do not make Tawhid al-Uluhiyyah (Allaah's right to be worshipped alone) to be the foundation of their call. For this reason, their call is not a call that rectifies the society and individual in reality. Aside from the indoctrination and minimalist aqidah and minimalist "Islamic personality" given to initiates and required of members, there isn't any rectification of the people at large. This is not their goal, and they see that as a distraction from the real work, which is purely political.
The second is that an-Nabahani is a Qadariyy, he excludes man's wilful chosen actions from the domain of "al-qadaa wal-qadar", and he states this explicitly in his books (see here). And thus, upon this ignorance and deviation in aqidah, he tends in his political methodology towards the secular materialistic understanding of how change is made to occur in societies and nations. It is upon this corruption in conception and thought (i.e. based upon his corrupt Qadariyy aqidah) that his party's philosophy is based, in that it is they themselves - being the creators of their own actions outside of the domain of Allaah's all-encompassing qudrah (power), and outside of "al-qadaa wal-qadar" - who will establish and create an "Islamic state", through the route of a political party. Whilst they ignore the correct Sharee'ah asbaab (ways and means) and the Sharee'ah explanations for the demise and weakness of the Muslims and instead operate upon secular materialist notions of political change and social and political justice.
Conclusion and Summary
Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani was characterized by the great and major innovations which were the cause of the splitting and weakening of the Ummah. His books contain the innovations of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Qadariyyah, Murji'ah, and the Ash'ariyyah. His background was one of involvement with the Ba'thist, Communist, Arab nationalist movements and prominent figures in the late 1940s and early 1950s, which definitely had an influence in his party politics. Most importantly, his da'wah has little in connection with the da'wah of the Prophets.
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